It is not just humans who fall sick– trees can also develop diseases and die from them. In most cases, diseases among plants can be tricky to spot, especially with the untrained eye. As the illness progresses, the signs become more apparent. Before treating the tree, it is critical to identify the problem first to know what needs to be done.

Here are some of the common signs of a diseased tree to help you determine if your tree is suffering from any.

The tree has peeling bark.

Peeling or cracks in a tree’s bark is one common indication of disease in trees. A tree’s bark holds a vital role as it serves as protection for the inner core of the trunk. The tree may not be able to keep the necessary nutrients it needs if the bark continues to peel off. While it is normal for many tree species to have peeling bark, it should not be in large pieces. If you see significant peeling or cracking in your tree’s bark, contact a certified arborist to check if it is something to worry about.

There are a few healthy leaves left.

A diseased tree often has yellow or brown leaves, even in the growing season. Branches that lack green leaves may be a sign of health issues and should be addressed right away. For coniferous evergreens, their leaves can turn to red or yellow when they are under stress.

The tree has an abundance of deadwood.

A single or couple of deadwood or branches does not mean your tree is diseased or dying. However, a significant number of them can signify that your tree is suffering from sickness and needs treatment. Keep in mind that trees with health issues are unstable; that is why they need to be treated right away before any of their branches fall onto your roof.

It’s a host to critters and fungus.

Dying or sick trees are attractive hosts to insects and pests. These creatures love to live in weakened or dead trees. Fungus and bacteria can also manifest in a diseased tree. They often result in discoloration in the affected part of the tree or make mushrooms grow at its base. If the issue is not addressed, it can lead to structural problems later on.

The tree shows signs of root damage.

Root damage is not the easiest determining factor of a diseased tree because roots run deep in the ground. It is highly suggested to enlist a tree service to inspect a tree suspected of root damage to ensure a correct diagnosis. If you recently had a construction activity around the tree, take note of any significant changes to the tree’s health since the project began. It may mean that the tree incurred damage and needs to be treated immediately. Thinning foliage, dead branches, yellowish leaves, and stunted growth are some signs of root damage.

If you see one or any of these signs, call a tree specialist immediately. Diseased trees can recover if appropriately handled early on. Conducting routine maintenance such as trimming, fertilizing, and fixing structural issues can preserve your tree’s overall wellness. Finally, if in doubt, call a certified arborist.

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